UK ‘more positive about immigration’ than US or Germany

11 Aug 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Most British people hold a negative view towards the effects of immigration on the country, but they are more welcoming than Germany or the US, according to a new poll.

Almost three in 10 people (28 per cent) in the UK thought migrants had a ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ positive impact on the Britain. The figure is above the average of 21 per cent in the 24 countries surveyed by Ipsos Mori, and is also nine per cent higher than the UK’s figure in 2011.

The poll also found that more Britons believed immigration was good for the economy – 38 per cent – compared to the 35 per cent who thought it had not led to positive economic effects.

However, just over half of those surveyed (52 per cent) said they believed immigration had very or fairly negative effects on the country, compared to 20 per cent who felt it had neither positive or negative effects.

Overall, the survey found the UK had the sixth most positive views on immigration’s effect on the economy of the 24 countries in the poll. It also found that the UK’s attitude towards immigration is softening, with 48 per cent believing migration has made it more difficult for local people to get jobs, down from 62 per cent in 2011.

However, the UK was the second most worried country after Turkey about the effects of immigration on public services, with seven out of 10 people flagging this up as a concern.

Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute MD, Bobby Duffy, said: “Many other countries in Europe and around the world are more worried than us about immigration and its impact, with Turkey, Italy and France often among the most negative.

“Britons are actually among the most positive on some measures, such as whether immigration makes the country more interesting as a place to live, but we need to bear in mind it is still a minority - 40 per cent - who think that.”